Claudette hits Florida; Ana approaches Puerto RIco; Bill becomes our first hurricane

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:10 PM GMT on August 17, 2009

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Tropical Storm Claudette made landfall at about 1:15 am EDT near the eastern end of Santa Rosa Island, just southeast of Fort Walton Beach in Florida. Claudette's top winds were around 50 mph. A Personal Weather Station in Eastpoint, FL recorded sustained winds of 49 mph, gusting to 66 mph last night. So far, the rain from Claudette has had a tough time penetrating inland (Figure 2). Heavy rains of 3 - 4 inches have been confined to a narrow strip of coast, and Claudette is unlikely to cause any major flooding. Apalachicola received just over 4 inches of rain so far from Claudette. Radar animations out of the Florida Panhandle show that heavy rains continue along the coast in association with a main spiral band of Claudette, and these rains will gradually subside today.


Figure 1. Radar reflectivity image of Tropical Storm Claudette as it approached landfall just southeast of Fort Walton Beach shortly after midnight on 8/17/09.

The tropics featured a rare triple threat the past two days--simultaneous named storms beginning with the letters A, B, and C. The last time this occurred was in the slow-starting 1984 hurricane season, when Tropical Storms Arthur, Bertha, and Cesar were all active on September 1. This year's A, B, and C storms all got their names in just a 33 hour span. This is not a record, since in 1995, three tropical storms--Humberto, Iris, and Jerry--got their names in a 27-hour span (thanks to NOAA's Ryan Sharp for looking up this stat).


Figure 2. Total precipitation estimated by radar for Claudette, as of 3:28pm EDT 8/17/09.

Ana not dead yet
Tropical Depression Ana continues to cling to life, and is now approaching landfall in Puerto Rico. Radar animations from the San Juan, Puerto Rico radar show a surface circulation just southeast of the island, with some low-level spiral banding trying to develop to the south. Recent satellite images also show a rejuvenation of the heavy thunderstorm activity near Ana's center, as the storm regroups from being nearly torn apart yesterday. Ana has already dumped up to 4 inches of rain along the north coast of Puerto Rico, according to radar-estimates.

It is unlikely that Ana will survive past today, however, since the storm will move over both Puerto Rico and the rugged terrain of Hispaniola. The high mountains of these islands should act to disrupt the relatively small and fragile circulation of Ana. None of the computer models foresee that Ana will survive passage over Hispaniola. The Dominican Republic can expect 3 - 6 inches of rain from Ana, and Haiti can expect 1 - 3 inches.


Figure 3. Total precipitation estimated by radar from Ana for Puerto Rico.

Bill becomes the first Atlantic hurricane of 2009
Hurricane Bill continues to gather strength, and is now the first hurricane of the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season. An eye has appeared on visible and infrared satellite imagery, and Bill is displaying an impressive symmetry, with plenty of low-level spiral banding.

Wind shear is low, 5 - 10 knots, and is forecast to be in the low range through Wednesday. With Sea Surface Temperatures only 27°C today, substantial intensification may not occur until Tuesday and Wednesday, when SSTs warm to 28 - 29°C and ocean heat content sharply increases. By Thursday, Bill is expected to leave the favorable upper-level wind environment it currently finds itself in, and moderate shear of 15 - 20 knots may limit further intensification.

Water vapor satellite imagery shows that there is a modest trough of low pressure in the upper atmosphere near 50°W longitude, that Bill is currently approaching. All of the computer models except the UKMET predict that this trough will be strong enough to turn Bill more to the northwest so that the hurricane misses the Lesser Antilles Islands. The UKMET predicts the trough will not affect Bill much, and that the hurricane will pass through or just north of the islands on Thursday. For now, the UKMET solution is being discounted, since the trough at 50W appears substantial enough on satellite imagery to be able to turn Bill more to the northwest.

A much larger trough of low pressure is expected to develop along the U.S. East Coast late this week, turning Bill even more to the northwest. Most of the models predict Bill will pass very close to Bermuda on Saturday as a result. The HWRF model predicts Bermuda will receive a direct hit at Category 4 strength. Until Bill interacts with the small trough at 50°W, it is too early to be confident of the potential threat to Bermuda. By Tuesday, we should have a much better idea of the threat. Likewise, I would like to see the UKMET model come around in line with the other models before dismissing the possible threat to the U.S. East Coast. It currently appears that Bill will miss the U.S. East Coast, but that a strike on the Canadian provinces of Newfoundland or Nova Scotia is possible.

I'll have an update Tuesday morning, or possibly this afternoon.

Jeff Masters

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I think it was John Hope that said, I could be wrong, if CV Hurricane remained below 15N/45W it was much less chance of them recurving before affecting land. He was Great.
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 7506
2073. hahaguy
Quoting rareaire:
thanks ha ha

Your Welcome.
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2072. Drakoen
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29714
2070. breald
Quoting reedzone:


I was dead on with the track of 98L, just tropical characteristics part of it.. I live in Florida btw, not New York, I used to live up there 8 years ago.


Hey Reed, don't worry about them. Thanks for calling it correctly. Some of us appreciate it.
Member Since: May 28, 2008 Posts: 38 Comments: 5303
2069. GatorWX
Quoting rareaire:
can you look back on previous days blogs and comments?


sure can, click on JeffMasters at the top. This will take you to his previous entries. Let me know if you have problems.
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thanks ha ha
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2067. hahaguy
Quoting rareaire:
can you look back on previous days blogs and comments?


Ya , scroll up and on the left it says previous entries for 2009 just click the month and find the blog.
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TCHP
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Quoting louisianaboy444:
Can comeone post a Visible loop of Bill
Link
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Quoting WeatherMSK:
The few folks in here that say watch out for "Ana", i completely agree. There is alot of energy that is poised to make it to the gulf.

Ana definitely looks like shes going to come back. Will this be a record for most time's risen from the dead.
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Quoting MeterologistDewon9:
I am getting off for now, gotta go into town to get some items..

I updated the site..visit it when you get a chance..

And can't wait for the next model run and advisory on Bill.!
This post is against all the rules!! You will be the only one on my permanent ignore list!! Bye
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Thanks for a little help.
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can you look back on previous days blogs and comments?
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Quoting all4hurricanes:

Me mentioning Floyd is like you mentioning Isabel. I Don't think This will hit the East Coast But It won't be a fish storm Bermuda or Canada will get this one.
Didn't Floyd and Isabel come ashore in nearly the same area? Only Isabel didn't hit anything else first...... Isabel turned LONG before Floyd did. Unfortunately, it didn't KEEP turning.....
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Thanks Weather456. That graphic helped re: weakness in trough. Appreciate it. BBL
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The few folks in here that say watch out for "Ana", i completely agree. There is alot of energy that is poised to make it to the gulf.
Member Since: February 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 479
2057. GatorWX
Quoting rareaire:
WHATS THIS? Link


That's the remnants of Ana
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Quoting keywestbrat:

456 hi,
do you happen to have one for the DR that you could post TIA


those were from the US NWS so not available for the said location. However, here's a radar for them

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting DaytonaBeachWatcher:
Alan, i have heard a lot of good things come out of your posts. You have the right idea to start, but when they get close you waiver, IMO.
Bill will probably go further west than the NHC's most recent track, but not far enough, I dont think. Best to watch and see. Too much of the "its going more west" just gets people in trouble. Soapbox done, lurkmode, on....


Wow couldn't agree with you more.. I think a Hurricane Edouard track (1996) is more likely. See the track, no landfall, but swipes Cape Cod.
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7334
2054. GatorWX
Quoting btwntx08:

now that right there was wishcasting no joke


That's not wishcasting dude, but a very real possibility. Bermuda needs to keep a very close eye on this one. Models are predicting a VERY intense hurricane in their vicinity. Look at the models.

Will everyone please stop making accusations and whatnot. If you disagree, fine, but come on! This blog has turned into a huge bickering war. I think it's full of children rather than competent meteorologists and amateurs. It's certainly much different than back in '05-'06. Since then, it's steadily become ridiculous, with the exception of a handful of good posters, and I'm not jst talking about the really educated ones, but anyone who just states their opinions and contributes in any positive way.
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!WOW!, look at the SST near the east coast, is it normal to have them between 28 and 30 degrees at this time? If/When bill gets there is when the real rapid intensification will begin. BTW does anyone know where to find TCHP diagrams?
North Atlantic SST's
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WHATS THIS? Link
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not sure if its me but watching the sat loop almost looks like bill jogs a little more left as it pass the tracking mark like it might go south of next mark . just your avg weather i could be wrong
Member Since: September 2, 2002 Posts: 0 Comments: 156
Quoting WeatherStud1991:
Hey, im going to be a senior in High School this year and i would like to know what are the top Meteorology/ Atmospheric Science schools.

Texas A&M, of course.

An incomplete list of schools offering an undergrad is here: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/mob/metschools.shtml
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i think bill will land fall in NC
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2046. JRRP
Quoting DestinJeff:


how's the F5, sammy?

lol
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5084
2045. jpsb
Quoting Vortex95:
456 it is concerning to have something pass so close to you but as it seems to me, you may be affected by at worst moderate ts winds. At the moment of course things (hopefully not) ma change
I'm still worried about the northren Islands. Looking less likely this afternoon, but a more westerly track puts them back in danger.
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Quoting WeatherStud1991:
Hey, im going to be a senior in High School this year and i would like to know what are the top Meteorology/ Atmospheric Science schools.

No idea about schools but hang around here - lots of good knowledge and some met students blog regularly. Also a free site Comet.edu I think with excellent free courses.
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Quoting WeatherStud1991:
Hey, im going to be a senior in High School this year and i would like to know what are the top Meteorology/ Atmospheric Science schools.
Well, I don't know much about many others, but the school I just started at, Florida Institute of Technology, has a great meteorology college. I love the professors, I love the campus, and I love the size (small).
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Can comeone post a Visible loop of Bill
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Alan, i have heard a lot of good things come out of your posts. You have the right idea to start, but when they get close you waiver, IMO.
Bill will probably go further west than the NHC's most recent track, but not far enough, I dont think. Best to watch and see. Too much of the "its going more west" just gets people in trouble. Soapbox done, lurkmode, on....
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Quoting sammywammybamy:


ReedZone... Is a Wish Caster...


Not taking "sides" on the Bill track, but I don't think that is true.
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Hey, im going to be a senior in High School this year and i would like to know what are the top Meteorology/ Atmospheric Science schools.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
What'd I misspell????


Oh, I got the wrong person, don't I? CyberTeddy is the one that went through Isabel outside in VA Beach.
Isabel is what you misspelled, but not important. Sry.
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2035. GBlet
I'm glad I am hurricane proof, now if I were only tornado proof...
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Quoting mobilegirl81:
Do not trust the current forecast for bill.


wat do u think it'll do?
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Quoting DaytonaBeachWatcher:
I know where you live, just north of me, and i dont think its coming here. You used to post alot as alan on flhurricane i know you.


Wow, good job :) .. I'll admit I was wishcasting in 2006, but when I predicted Humberto in 2007 to reach at least 60 mph. at landfall, some blogger on there called me a noob wishcaster, with profanity.. nice guy. Yet in the end, Humberto became a Hurricane before landfall. I've gotten better this year, I look carefully at the pattern now more then ever, sometimes I will go by models, but again as I always say.. "Models are NOT gods" ;)
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7334
GFS 18Z trough on Friday - I don't care how strong Bill is, its headed out to sea
Link
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Well at this point in time Bermuda has the greatest potential for tropical weather, so saying it will hit Bermuda technically isn't wishcasting.
Member Since: February 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 479
Quoting leelee75k:
lurker here, hey all...

can someone show me the image of the trough that is going to turn Bill, he's almost at 50W now thanks


hope this helps, from my blog

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Do not trust the current forecast for bill.
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Quoting sammywammybamy:


ReedZone... Is a Wish Caster...


SWB is an instigator.
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lurker here, hey all...

can someone show me the image of the trough that is going to turn Bill, he's almost at 50W now thanks
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guys in reality all of us need to watch out for it some need to watch aliitle closer then others
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2024. WAHA
Quoting btwntx08:

now that right there was wishcasting no joke

What is Wishcasting?
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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.